General Course Information for SPD608: Exceptionalities

Course: SPD608 - Exceptionalities
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Description:

An examination of four major types of learners: students with disabilities, English learners, students with gifts and talents, and students at risk. Explores how these groups of learners can best be served in general education using effective instructional strategies, including accommodations, modifications, and differentiated instruction.

Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Integrate and apply comprehensive knowledge of atypical development associated with various disabilities and risk factors e.g. visual impairment, autism spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy, etc., resilience and protective factors e.g. attachment, temperament and their implications for learning, including access to visual communication and visual language. Candidates describe the different exceptionalities served in public schools.
  • Integrate and apply skills needed to ensure that the intervention/instructional environment is appropriate to each student's specific chronological age, developmental differences, disability and other special needs
  • Describe the different service delivery models for students with exceptionalities and give the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Integrate and apply ability to develop and implement strategies and best practices (which are appropriate for students with diverse strengths and needs) to include (a) differentiated lessons, (b) instructional sequences.
  • Integrate and apply an understanding and acceptance of differences.
  • Describe the role of school personnel in inclusion -- including both general and special education teachers.
  • Integrate and apply the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively to a wide variety of people, including but not limited to individuals with disabilities and other special needs, their families and / or primary care givers, general and special education teachers, related service personnel and administrators, members of trans-disciplinary teams, and other professionals. Candidates describe effective methods of collaborating and consulting with parents and other school personnel in the school setting.
Course Requirements:

Professionalism: Candidates are expected to: conduct themselves in a responsible manner that reflects ethics, honor, and good citizenship; abide by the regulations of the University. It is the candidates' responsibility to maintain academic honesty and integrity, and to manifest their commitment to the mission of the University through their conduct and behavior; demonstrate the dispositions expected of teachers. The California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC) is charged by law with evaluation of the moral character and fitness of all persons who wish to teach or perform certified services in the public schools. Every person who is an applicant for, or who now holds, any credential, certificate, permit, or license authorizing service in California public schools is answerable to the CCTC and the Committee of Credentials for his or her fitness related conduct. California Laws and Rules Pertaining to the Discipline of Professional Certificated Personnel; willingness and ability to accept the challenge of reading texts and research concerning teaching and learning; willingness and ability to listen with an open mind to the ideas and informed opinions of others; willingness and ability to express ideas in clear, concise, correct English. Acknowledge that in accordance with National University policy, more than three absences from discussions excused or unexcused, will result in a less than satisfactory grade.

Written Assignment Expectations: All assignments completed are to be font size 12, double spaced with student name and date indicated; written in standard English following APA guidelines, error free in sentence construction, grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Late Work: Guidelines for late work are as follows: all assignments are due at date indicated unless prior permission has been given to the candidate and no credit will be given for that assignment, with prior permission late work may be accepted and may receive a deduction of 20% in the grade.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures